Windows 8 is ‘too much, too quickly and too different’, says KPMG CIO

By Sooraj Shah
31 Jul 2014 View Comments
Windows 8 live tile

"Big four" professional services firm KPMG will not move its whole business over to Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system because it is "too much, too quickly and too different", according to KPMG's CIO, Edel McGrath.

Speaking exclusively to Computing, McGrath explained that the organisation had moved from Windows Vista to Windows 7 in the last two years, and has also deployed Microsoft Office 2013, Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) and OneNote.

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It intends to deploy the communications software Lync and have "Lync rooms" in all its buildings in the UK, and has also looked at deploying Microsoft Office 365 - the cloud version of the popular office applications suite - in the future.

Meanwhile, Windows 8 is in the pipeline, but is not something that KPMG will roll out across the whole business.

"We need to ensure we are disrupting the business as little as possible. Bringing in Windows 8 and mandating that as an operating system is too much. So we've decided to put it into the app store, and it wil be ready soon for those employees who want to take it," McGrath said.

"I've accepted that we'll have to run a dual standard for Windows but I'm not prepared to take the [whole] business on that journey; I think it's too much, too quickly," she added.

McGrath emphasised that it wasn't just the speed of change from Windows 7 to 8 but the change itself.

"It looks too different, although you can get used to it," she said.

But she will ask employees to move over to Windows 8 in the next 12 months. This may be because McGrath believes it is only viable to support any two operating systems at a time, and if a new release of Windows becomes available, the professional services firm will want to ensure that it has this as an option for employees.

Mobile

KPMG currently offers Lenovo's Helix and Carbon x1 models, traditional laptop alternatives, as well as the Surface Pro 2 to its employees.

But one area where Microsoft does not currently have a place at the organisation is with its choice of smartphones.

Employees have a choice of the iPhone 5s, Samsung S5, and BlackBerry X10 and Q10 devices, should they need or want a corporate device, while KPMG has a bring your own device (BYOD) policy too.

But Windows Phone is not ready from a security perspective, according to McGrath.

"It's not ready for us. We think there are a lot of security parts to that which need to be resolved. Microsoft have made a commitment to making those changes and, hopefully, we'll have those when the next version of Windows Phone comes out," she stated.

She does believe that Windows Phone would be beneficial to those employees who want to synchronise their phones with their tablets or laptops, however.

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